Here's when you should take your Christmas tree down to avoid bad luck and how to make the season last LONGER

Virgin Radio

4 Jan 2022, 16:39

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We've just about got our bins sorted from Christmas Day and it'll soon be time to say bye bye to the tree and decorations. But when do we have to do it by to avoid any superstition?

You may want to keep your tree up until the bitter end (hands up, that's us included) but according to tradition all our festive decs should be taken down on either Twelfth Night or Epiphany.

Professor Groom told i about the method behind the madness and said: “It was basically the Victorians who decided that Christmas decorations should be taken down after 12 days because they wanted to get everybody to work. They fixed it as the season of Christmas in the 19th century.”

However, the Tudors were more lenient and continued celebrating until 1 February to mark the eve of Christian festival Candlemas, which was when it's thought baby Jesus was 'presented to the God in the Temple at Jerusalem'.

Roman Catholics believe in leaving their trees up until 2 February, while Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas Day on 7 January stretching it out a bit longer.

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Professor Nick Groom of the University of Exeter, told i about the sacred day: “Twelfth Night is Twelfth Day’s Eve – we still talk about Christmas Eve as being Christmas Night.”

According to Advent (not the calendar), you should put the tree up four Sundays before Christmas but in Roman Catholic tradition you'll have to wait until Christmas eve.

So how do we keep a real tree alive and kicking? They should stay healthy for five to six weeks indoors, but the Norway Spruce can shed after a few weeks.

Better get the broom out.

And where did it all start from? It's thought the Christmas tree tradition began during Queen Victoria’s reign between 1837 and 1901 when Prince Albert brought a spruce-fir from Germany for his wife and it became all the rage.

Hannah Fleming, curator at the Geffrye Museum told GoodHousekeeping: “Trees were originally a German tradition. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were responsible for popularising it.”

We wonder if she got all her festive decorations from B&M too...